Sir David Adjaye OBE receives 2021 Royal Gold Medal


Sir David Adjaye OBE. @RIBA/Francis Kokoroko

Ghanaian-British architect and Adjaye Associates founder, Sir David Adjaye OBE received the 2021 Royal Gold Medal on May 26th. An award that is approved personally by the Queen of England and given to people who have had a significant impact on the development of architecture.


Regarding winning this merit Adjaye said: “It’s incredibly humbling and a great honour to have my peers recognise the work I have developed with my team and its contribution to the field over the past 25 years. Architecture, for me, has always been about the creation of beauty to edify all peoples around the world equally and to contribute to the evolution of the craft. The social impact of this discipline has been and will continue to be the guiding force in the experimentation that informs my practice. A heartfelt and sincere moment of gratitude and thanks to all the people who supported the journey to get to this moment.”


In addition to categorizing Sir Adjaye’s work as contradictory and yet coherent, the Honours Comittee pointed out that «His work reveals a core belief in the generative power of architecture. In a world that has become polarised he brings politics, art and science together with architecture, as he works to create a better future. The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC united his many architectural and cultural agendas and expressed the role architecture can play in pluralism.»


His innovative use of materials and artistic abilities, as well as his dedication to reveal the power of architecture and how spaces can reflect people’s stories and culture has earned him awards such as: Design Miami Designer of the Year Award (2011), W.E.B. Du Bois Medal from Harvard University (2014), Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT (2016), Ghana Legacy Honors Impact in Architecture (2017), Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medallist in Architecture (2018), Isamu Noguchi Award (2020), among others.


Here you can find the RIBA’s abstract on Adjaye’s recognition.

The following is a compilation with some of the most relevant projects of David Adjaye:

Smithsonian National Museum of African American Arts and Culture. Washington DC, USA. @Nic Lehoux
Ruby City. San Antonio, USA. @Dror Baldinger FAIA
Sugar Hill Mixed-Use Development. New York, USA. @Leonid Furmansky
Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Denver, USA. @Dean Kaufman
Moscow School of Management. Moscow, Russia. @Aram Arakelyan
Rivington Art Place. London, UK. @Lyndon Douglas
Bernie Grant Art Centre. London, UK. @Assen Emilov

The BAM team congratulates David Adjaye on this well-deserved achievement and can’t wait to see what is the next card under Adjaye Associates sleeve.


The images used in this article are taken from RIBA’s website.

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